One thing most dolls have in common is that they were, at one point, sculpted by an artist. How hard can it be to make a simple doll? I said. Little did I know that Fimo soft doesn’t behave in real life quite as it does in my head. Before I set out, I got two things straight.
Firstly, that this doll wouldn’t be perfect. No matter what. It wouldn’t be. This is my first attempt, after all! Secondly that I would make it anyway, from start to finish. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and often start things, get disappointed and never finish. This kid, I told myself, no matter how weird, will be a doll.
To set out I drew up a sketch (maybe a sort of blueprint?) of the size I wanted the doll to be. This is nothing pretty, just a sort of visual reference so I didn’t get completely off-track!
I’ve also got my materials all gathered here as if this is going to be an organised pursuit of creativity and not a frustrating lint vs pale clay disaster. I have flesh coloured Fimo soft, baby oil which helps to smooth out the surface (but it did make the Fimo quite sticky!), and some foil. I screwed up the foil into a tight ball to fit inside the head.
Next, um, all this happened.
It was starting to go dark by this time so please forgive the horrific lighting. The sculpting, as you can see, is a bit awful too. You smooth out this stuff on one side and find that your fingers have been digging into the other side. Fingerprint marks are everywhere, the arms look like alien worms and the face captures your exact mood at the time. It is not a peaceful one.
So, I rolled this head back up into a ball of clay with a piece of foil in the middle and did the same with the alien worm arms. It was a moment of pain but the second versions of each definitely beat the first!
This is the head I decided to bake before baking. See all that lint? My workspace hardly even seems dusty, yet it’s everywhere! The eyes are also a little wonky here.
Once I was done with poking bits of clay and wondering if this was even a good idea to start with, into the oven she went for 30 minutes at 110˚c. When she came out, she looked like this! (Then I blushed her nose a little for the second picture).
My limb sculpting is truly shameful. To be fair, this is all in one evening though! She looks ever so angry in the first picture, maybe because of the crack in her head that formed in the oven? Poor girl. Time to give her a face! I had Fritzi and a baby Sasha doll on my desk for reference. Safe in the knowledge that I could paint over all of her if this went terribly, I tackled her with chalk pastels and acrylics until she looked like this!
Not perfect, as promised. I do think she turned out a little sweet though! Fritzi even lent her her bunny hat, but it was far too big.
Oh, also, I decided to make a feature of her “scratch”. She has very blushed cheeks largely due to me forgetting to tap the chalk dust off my brush one time, and then having to match the whole face to that level of intense pink! There’s so much I didn’t even notice about her in real life, but that is quite noticeable in photos. Such as that line on the opposite side to the scratch- what even IS that?
Right now I’m working on her wig, and next will be her body! Hopefully in my next post she’ll even have a name. Thanks for sharing my roller-coaster dolly-related experience! -Julia